Charlotte's men's golf team played in the Conference USA Championships in Texarkana, Arkansas, this week after a regular season that included a tournament win at the Linger Longer Invitational in March.
As the tournament opened on Monday, the 49ers came out strong in the first of three rounds of stroke play. The team shot a two-under 286, which put the team in second place. UTSA lead after the first round by three strokes.
Ben Woodruff lead the team in round one with a two-under 70. Dongjin Park and Carson Owenby both shot one-under 71's.
Matt Sharpsteene shot a 74 and John Gough turned in a 75.
On the second day of the tournament, Ownbey led the 49ers with a four-under 68 to help keep the 49ers tied for second. Woodruff went even with a 72. Gough improved with a one-over 73 with three birdies on the day. Park shot 74, while Sharpstene 75.
The 49ers ended individual play on Wednesday in fourth place with an 857 overall, four strokes behind UAB, who finished third. Gough led the squad in the last round with a four-under 68 and placed tied for 18th. Woodruff shot 71 to place tied for ninth with a 213 overall. Ownbey was the top finisher with a tied for sixth finish after shooting a one-over 73.
"It's always good when you're able to get into match play at this championship," said Head Coach Ryan Cabbage.
"Especially in a year where I feel like this league is as strong from top to bottom as it has been in some time. We really didn't play our best golf this week, but the guys were able to hit some really clutch shots down the stretch in stroke play to give us an opportunity to play for a championship in match play."
In a rematch of the 2019 semifinal round, the Niners lost in the semifinals to top-seed Middle Tennessee by 1-4. Charlotte earned their lone point from Sharpstene. The team struggled overall and couldn't capitalize on several opportunities.
"We just never could get the upper hand in the match against Middle Tennessee. We were down early in almost every match. The guys tried to battle back but just couldn't get anything going to put much pressure on them," said Cabbage.
The 49ers now await a place to play for the 2021 NCAA Regionals set for May 17-19.
"We'll now get back to Charlotte, get these guys through final exams, and get ready to go to NCAA Regionals in a few weeks," said Cabbage on the rest of the postseason. "As I told the guys after our match this afternoon, this is not the end for us. Now we look forward to going to the NCAA Championship to see if we can make a run with these guys."